SIPTU Organiser, Jim Fuery, said: “The company wrote to our members in a letter that arrived on Monday morning informing them it was placing them on protective notice and that the plant would not be operating from 8.30 a.m. today. In a gesture of goodwill to the company, last Saturday our members suspended industrial action which began in October. In response the company has, in effect, locked them out of their workplace.
“This is completely unacceptable behaviour by management. Our members’ dispute with the company relates to its failure to respect the terms of a collective agreement.
“This collective agreement was part of a protection of employees on a transfer of undertakings (TUPE) agreement which was concluded when the plant was brought under new management in December 2017. This agreement guaranteed our members’ terms and conditions until 2022.
“Our members were forced into taking industrial action as a last resort because of the intransigence of management which has refused to attend conciliation conferences at the WRC in breach of the collective agreement.”
He added: “We are calling on the company to immediately end the lockout of our members and allow them to return to work. Management must also engage with SIPTU and other union representatives to resolve the ongoing dispute.”
There are 87 SIPTU members working in the pharmaceutical ingredients plant in Swords.